Hello, my name is Sarah Mahmood, and I’m a medical student at Hull York Medical School. In this blog, I’ll be sharing my top tips for applying to medical school, which helped me receive four unconditional offers!
Applying to medical school can be a daunting experience, as you might not know what to do, or what will make your application the one they pick. I felt exactly like this when I was applying to medical school. I was the first person in my family to apply to medical school and had no idea what to expect.
The most important piece of advice that I can give to anyone is to do their research! Make sure you know the different pathways into medicine and the entry requirements at different universities. Make sure you’re taking the required A-Levels and research the grades you’ll need in each subject. Also, research the universities you’re interested in and look at the teaching style. Think about whether this would suit your learning. You’ll be spending 5 years in medical school, so make sure it’s the right fit for you. I recommend visiting a few open days, comparing different universities, and talking to medical students about their experiences at the university.
Almost everyone who applies for Medicine will have some form of work experience and volunteering under their belt. I highly recommend that you undertake work experience because this will open your eyes to the world of Medicine and reveal the reality of this field. With work experience, the main purpose should be to reflect on what you learnt, what specific skills you saw in healthcare professionals and why that’s important in being a doctor. Going one step forward to stand out you could give a personal example of when you’ve shown that skill and how that will help you in the future as a doctor. In regards to volunteering, it’s not necessary; however, this is something I did, and I think it shows commitment and passion if sustained over a few months or even years.
The personal statement was my favourite part of the application process because it’s a great chance to show admission tutors who you are and why they should choose you over someone else. Use this opportunity to mention work experience, volunteering, sports, extra-curricular activities or anything amazing that you have done that makes you stand out. Most importantly, don’t just list everything you’ve done, instead, reflect on these experiences, skills and lessons gained.
Overall, the application process is stressful and it can feel like a never-ending journey. However, if Medicine is something that you truly want to do then your passion and commitment should drive you towards trying your best and giving your best shot. The earlier you start preparing the better the chance you have of getting into Medicine. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a message on LinkedIn.
There will be separate blogs where I will go into detail about specific parts of the application process! If you have any specific topics you would like me to write about then please let me know. Best of luck!